Saturday, 23 August 2014

1 day bespoke Lake District Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Course in The Lake District. August 15th 2014.

We were contacted last week by the Kendall Family who were looking for a one day orienteering course - or so they thought! Orienteering is the sport of following a mapped out course visiting Grid References or marker points that have a means of marking a score card to prove you have been there. It is a competitive sport, often timed; and is carried out by experienced map readers. Usually the competition is won by the person or team achieving the most markers in the shortest time.

With a little bit of enquiring from Iain, it became apparent, the what the family really wanted was a day of Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training. Iain met them in Staveley as we usually do for all our Lake District Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Courses at 09:00 on Friday morning; and off we went!

This one day bespoke Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Course started off as they always do - by going right back to basics. Discussing map scales and the difference in detail on those map scales and then the importance map orientation before setting off on a linear route ( a minor road) measuring & pacing distance between "tick off" features that we looked for along the way. This was a very good way to get the family reading from the map on to the ground.Through this method, they very quickly picked up the required techniques and had a lot of fun in the process.

Photo two was taken during a snack stop and a lesson in how to identify Grid References on the map to pinpoint a location. The family again picked this up very quickly indeed and were, in no time, giving Iain 8 figure Grid References for points that they were identifying on the map - very precise. Good stuff!

The next progression on from being able to identify the location of a Grid Reference on a map is to be able to find it on the ground. The next part of the session would see us leave the security of using linear features such as bridleways, tracks & footpaths to get from A to B and use a compass to walk in a straight line instead to find Grid References.

Photo three sees the family near to a rather insignificant pool of water marked on the map all having a laugh about the method that Dad - Cavan and one of his sons had used to get there. Unlike Mum - Dee & the other two lads, they had read the map and followed a track before identifying contour features that helped them to "home in" on the pool of water. Whilst the rest of us had used a compass bearing to get there. No matter, it had still worked; and that was a good result!

The final photo from this post about a one day bespoke Navigation & Map Reading Skills Training Course sees Mum and sons Carl & Harry working together to get the correct bearing a measure the distance from where they were to the next Grid Reference.

We spent the rest of the afternoon working in this fashion and then finished off by discussing Naismith's Rule for working out walking times between Grid References and then using the compass to identify unknown features on the ground from our known location.

The Kendall family had a very satisfying day out with Iain and are looking forward to venturing into the mountains on their next visit to the Lake District and being able to find their way around with confidence. We wish them the best of luck and hope to see them again.

Our weekend Navigation Skills Training Courses in The Lake District start again soon with the first one taking place on September 27th & 28th. At £80 per person for these two day courses they are a bargain if you want to learn how to find your way around in the mountains in any weather. Contact us to get booked on the September course. We look forward to working with you.

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